I recently received a call from a client who was concerned about an employee who showed up at a consumer's house as Stephanie after eight months as Steven. Actually, those are not the names used, and the concern was not with the employee as much as the consumer's possible reactions and confusion. So, how to respond? Was this employee protected under the anti-discrimination laws from any type of counseling or even termination? The Answer: Depends on where Steven/Stephanie lives. The United … [Read more...] about The Meaning of “Sex”
This past November, employers were required to notify Medicare-eligible employees, retirees and dependents about whether their current prescription drug coverage was "creditable" for purposes of Medicare Part D. Employers must now notify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and CMS has published guidelines for doing so. To comply with the disclosure requirement, employers must fill out the form on the Creditable Coverage Disclosure to CMS Website at: … [Read more...] about Benefits – Have You Notified CMS About Employees’, Retirees’ and Dependents’ Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay workers for all hours actually worked. So, mistakes in calculating break times can sometimes lead to wage errors resulting in penalties and fines assessed by the Department of Labor (DOL). What does the law say? It is illegal to dock hourly non-exempt employees for short breaks (typically between five and 20 minutes) and for any portion of their meal breaks that they actually worked. Example: An employer docked hourly employees … [Read more...] about FLSA – When Is Break Time Work Time?
A New Jersey Superior Court has held that an employer that fails to act on evidence of an employee's criminal online activities should be held accountable. Specifically, co-workers had complained about the employee's computer abuse, and the employee's supervisor had become suspicious that the employee was abusing his Internet use on the Company's computers. The company failed to take any action until later monitoring showed the employee was accessing numerous pornography sites, including child … [Read more...] about Court Tells Employer It Could Be Liable to Third Parties for Not Investigating and Halting Employee’s Online Porn Activities
No one doubts that employers' health care costs are a major issue, nor that access to health care is also critical to attracting and retaining qualified and experienced employees. But employers are not limited to an "all-or-nothing" choice. As explained recently by one federal court, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act's (ERSIA) minimum participation requirements permit an employer to preclude hourly employees from participating in a benefits plan. In the case of first … [Read more...] about Employee Benefits: They’re Not for Everyone
No, this is not a new legal standard or regulation, and the Guideline does not create new legal obligations for employers. But if you have home health or other employees driving as a part of their job, you will want to check out the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) new Guidelines. OSHA joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety to develop a 32-page document offering help to employers designing an effective … [Read more...] about New OSHA Guidelines for Reducing Motor Vehicle Crashes
The EEOC has announced final approval of the new EEO-1 Report (Employer Information Report) to go into effect for 2007. The new form is the first major change to the employer survey in four decades and will be required for the 2007 survey, which is due by September 30, 2007. What is the EEO-1 Report, you ask? The Report is a government form requiring many employers to provide a count of their employees by job category and then by ethnicity, race and gender. The EEO-1 report is submitted … [Read more...] about New EEO-1 Report for 2007
More and more we see the issue being raised in the courts. What is the effect of your company being part of a network or group of companies with common ownership? What if the companies have shared payroll, resources, management, policies or benefit plans? The Department of Labor (DOL) has held that too much closeness may lead to joint liability. Last year, the DOL issued an opinion letter in response to a question from a health care system about its obligation to pay overtime under the … [Read more...] about When Two Are Made One…For Overtime Liability
We all know that RNs and other "professionals" under the wage and hour laws must be paid on a "salary basis" in addition to performing the qualified professional duties in order to retain their exempt status. However, that raises an Issue. The Issue? Does the fact that you pay exempt RNs or other employees an additional incentive pay (called "shift differential pay" in Department of Labor [DOL] lingo) for working evenings and nights or other more difficult shifts affect their "salary basis" … [Read more...] about Shift Differential Pay Is A-Okay
The cheap answer is: Case Managers' exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) overtime requirements must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The tougher analysis is that the Department of Labor (DOL) has apparently continued its earlier position that case managers are typically non-exempt and, thus, entitled to overtime. With all the celebration surrounding the DOL's regulations issued in 2004, providers remained frustrated with the DOL's complete failure to address the exempt … [Read more...] about Case Managers: Exempt or Non-Exempt?